Focus on aircraft development: Prahlad

He says there is no coordination between certifying agencies

Published: 24th September 2013 09:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2013 09:03 AM   |  A+A-

Vasagam

Former Director of National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) T S Prahlad on Monday said the civil aircraft development industry  is being bogged down by lack of coordination between certifying agencies in the country and other international bodies.

According to him, the sector must learn from the success of the countries in space exploration.

Delivering the Satish Dhawan Memorial Lecture in the city, Prahlad highlighted his experiences with NAL’s Saras programme.

He said  the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) became extra cautious and did not allow any more flights till date after a test flight in 2009 resulted in the deaths of three pilots.

“Hopefully next month we will see the Prototype 2 with a remodelled engine in flight again. Compare Saras with the development of the space launch vehicle which was able to bounce back despite failures within a year,” he observed.

Prahlad pushed for a national policy for civil aircraft development with greater involvement of private industry. “The weakest link at present is in certification. There is a lack of people with knowledge of modern technology. They also have a conservative attitude. This coupled with a lack of bilateral arrangements create issues for export of indigenous designed aircrafts,” he remarked.

Prahlad also cited the example of the C-NM 5 general aviation aircraft which according to him is bogged down with issues in India. The aircraft development was taken over by the private partner Mahindra who built it in their facility in Australia. “Now, we will first apply for Australian certification then, international certification and finally Indian,” Prahlad said.

Mars Mission

ISRO Chairman K Radhakrishnan said the launch window for the Mars Mission would begin from October 28 and open till November 19.

ISRO expects the Mars Orbiter to begin its 300-day journey covering 400 million km to Mars by November. “The GSLV D5 mission which was cancelled at the penultimate hour is being scheduled for launch in middle of December,” he said.

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